Dead Forklift Battery

wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
I would like to share my recent experiences with a dead GB forklift battery.
When doing my usual battery maintenance and filling up water as my set routine, I noticed that the last of the 12 in the series had not used any water. Thinking I made a mistake filling I didn’t pay any more attention. Then this morning a light bulb went off in my head. After also noticing that thank bank kept discharging too fast, in the middle of the night went out and checked the specific gravity. That battery is dead as a door nail. The other 11 are in great shape.
These are 2 volt forklift batteries in a 1500 amph bank give or take. (I know about the pumped up readings from GB)

Talked to my great expert Steve a GB and discussed either switching the battery for a new one (these are only 3 years old) or loaning me a charger for a single 2 volt battery. He explained the problem as such, that a battery can slowly fall behind and eventually go dead, even though they all the same age.

I posted my problem on a FB solar forum and got the suggestion to use a $60 adjustable DC power supply. Ordered it hooked it up and patiently watch the numbers. At the first 48 hours pretty much nothing SG zero, just water. But the voltage went from 1.85 to a steady 2 volt.

Now after almost a week I have brought the SG up to 1125, my guy at GB Batteries was real excited. Told me to get that battery just a bit higher than the other 11. He actually lectured me on always remember to do a regular equalizing, which I had neglected. Just did a daily absorbing charge.

Still a few more days to have it at 1275-1285.

Thought this may help someone else.

Wolfgang


Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).

Comments

  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Thanks For the comments.. I have the 24-85-13 version at About 805AH. I bought them early on and they had been sitting..I purchased a Golf Cart charger thinking i could use it to trickle or just give it enough to keep them up.. I was wrong it either finished the cycle and said all was good @ 53v but SG was low or never finished the cycle saying error.. Took too long.. Im just now getting things hooked up and was advised by the Manufacture to do a few equalization charges right off the bat.. Question did you separate your cells to individual or just charge that cell hooked up to the others.. Also do you have a link for the charger you purchased..Regards.. Shawn  Upper Michigan 
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,290 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Generally, EQ is done on the whole bank, assuming cells are relatively close in SG (say low 1.25, high 1.28).  With one being way lower that the others though, just working on that cell makes sense.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,755 ✭✭✭✭
    You might have a questionable connection on that cell. I'm replacing all my "Walmart's Best" marine rated battery connectors as soon as the brass ones show up. May be interesting. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
    edited September 21 #5
    shawnj72 said:
    Thanks For the comments.. I have the 24-85-13 version at About 805AH. I bought them early on and they had been sitting..I purchased a Golf Cart charger thinking i could use it to trickle or just give it enough to keep them up.. I was wrong it either finished the cycle and said all was good @ 53v but SG was low or never finished the cycle saying error.. Took too long.. Im just now getting things hooked up and was advised by the Manufacture to do a few equalization charges right off the bat.. Question did you separate your cells to individual or just charge that cell hooked up to the others.. Also do you have a link for the charger you purchased..Regards.. Shawn  Upper Michigan 
    Shawn,
    I left all batteries connected and just attached the power supply below to the one battery, could not afford to have my house without power for that long. I needed something for just one battery, hence the power supply here. Not sure it would work for your purpose. However my Kubota Diesel generator puts out two phases of 120 volt so I hooked up a NOCO Genius 24 volt battery charger on my second phase for daily use. I'll attach that link as well. I really like that one. The other phase is used by my Xantrex inverter. Hope this helps.
    Wolfgang
    Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

    FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).
  • wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
    The connections are good, thanks though. Came with the batteries from GB.  
    Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

    FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).
  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Wolfgang, Thanks for the reply.. I did look up a similar power supply.. I see you can disconnect each cell that;s why i asked.. wondered if one could do it with all still welded together.. I know not if but when I plan on moving them they will be un permanently attached..int easy to move 2500 lbs around that's for sure.. I did make a cart even on flat surface isn't easy.. I built a small room around them or over size cabinet is a better word. I do like these you have better definitely.. I do have both a split phase generator and could do what you said thanks a bunch for the links.. And I will be looking for something to be able to do the charge stand alone if needed..  Regards.. Shawn
  • wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
    Shawn, glad to help. BTW, the dead battery is back to full strength. I keep the SG a little higher than the rest, so it doesn’t fall behind again as advised by the GB Battery expert. Leaving the power supply in place for that purpose. I guess I learned my lessons to equalize a bit more often. I trusted too much in a regular absorption charge.
    Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

    FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).
  • TooltimeTooltime Solar Expert Posts: 45 ✭✭
    edited October 1 #9
    This is great info.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the 2000# boat anchor in my basement.  One of my cells just quit taking a charge and I couldn't even get though a night without loosing power.  I will check into this. My battery guy just wants to sell me a new battery for $3800.  I was looking into going to Lithium and was scared to make the move. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,755 ✭✭✭✭
    How do you move a 2000 lb battery in and out of a basement? I had a couple close calls with 1650 pounds in sand and ice. That keeps me from moving it again. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    I have a Walk Out Basement.. with Attached Wood shed. I built a Cart with good Wheels to support the 2500#. It was still a Challenge to say the least.. I know for certain that i would not attempt if the basement wasn't a walk out type and when it comes time to remove and replace it will be broken down into 2v cells and done 100 pounds at at time.. that's for sure..
  • wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    How do you move a 2000 lb battery in and out of a basement? I had a couple close calls with 1650 pounds in sand and ice. That keeps me from moving it again. 
    I pulled them individually out of the steel case, onto a dolly and set them at their final destination in my battery enclosure. 
    Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

    FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).
  • wooffiwooffi Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭
    Tooltime said:
    This is great info.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the 2000# boat anchor in my basement.  One of my cells just quit taking a charge and I couldn't even get though a night without loosing power.  I will check into this. My battery guy just wants to sell me a new battery for $3800.  I was looking into going to Lithium and was scared to make the move. 
    It really works perfectly. I was sure the battery was beyond repair. My bank now is charging just fine. Steve from GB was also great help. He was thinking of shipping and loaning me one of their two volt chargers. But this little $60 device from Amazon saved me. Will definitely monitor my bank more closely.
    Off the grid since 1990. Done every possible mistake at least twice, too small of a solar array, solar panels in the wrong place, golf cart batteries, used forklift batteries, cheap generators, sad performing Onan propane generator, wind turbine amongst tall trees, you name it we have done it.

    FINALLY in 2016! A 1576 ah bank, my good old reliable 4KW Kubota Diesel, one of the last US build Xantrex W4024 inverter, going since 2000, Outback 80 amp charge controller, updated to 2400 watt solar array in 2019 (only good for 5 hours, don’t want to loose my trees).
  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    My only issue is having to cut the Buss and drill and tap 44 holes.. I had to drill and tap for the battery monitor.. 4 holes and it went ok not the easiest to tap led.. go slow lots of lubricant.. but there is still a chance of not getting good threads.. I will search for a good way to tap led.. see what comes up.. I will be getting one of those chargers also.. even thought about a disulfate like this one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006X25REI/?coliid=I1SJMDA38WRQ2O&colid=G5YOW95ASI8V&psc=1 
    . he said to do a few equalization charges right off the bat as it has been sitting.. not good he says.. it says full but SG is on the low side. but wouldn't go into equalize because it said it was full.. ill run them down this weekend and try again see if I can get it to cooperate.. I might be separating them sooner than later..   
  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Thanks A bunch for the Tap Info. I will definitely be separating them eventually. After a couple cycles and power outages and recharge it seems the batteries fared well. SG Came up to where it should be. I have been looking at the correct charge specs and read that 10% of the AH rating. the CONEXT XW+ 6848 is rated at 140A Max i Have been setting it to around 55% and it relates to about 85A Charge current. Just curious where your charge current is at on this 24-85-13 heavy beast.
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